Candida overgrowth is a surprisingly common health concern that is only recently coming into the public eye. You may have it and not even know it. It can cause all kinds of health problems, from digestive issues or depression to autoimmune diseases.
Fortunately, if you do have it, there are things you can do to turn it around. Read on to learn more about what candida overgrowth is, how to recognize it, and what to do if you have it.
What is Candida?
Candida albicans is a type of yeast that lives in the mouth and intestines. In normal quantities, it works to help you break down foods and absorb their nutrients. But when there is too much, it can wreak havoc on your body. It begins to break down the walls of your intestines, allowing toxins into your bloodstream. This condition, known as “leaky gut,” is responsible for a number of health problems.
How Does Candida Get Out of Control?
Normally, the healthy bacteria in your body would keep the candida in check, but sometimes we contribute to an unbalance in candida levels. The most common factor is a diet high in sugars and refined carbohydrates. This feeds the candida while depleting your good bacteria. Other factors can include:
- Consuming a lot of alcohol
- Taking a round of antibiotics
- Taking oral contraceptives
- High levels of stress
How Do I Know if I Have Candida Overgrowth?
Candida overgrowth can contribute to many health problems, including:
- Occasional fatigue
- Occasional digestive issues (bloating, gas, etc.)
- Mood swings
- Feeling restlessness at times
- Cravings for sugars and refined carbs
The only surefire way to know if you have candida overgrowth is to visit your doctor and get tested. There are blood, urine and stool tests available for candida, with the stool test providing the most accurate results.
If you don’t want to run to the doctor, however, you can try a spit test. While not as scientific as the tests mentioned above, it can give you some idea as to where you stand. First thing in the morning, fill a glass with water and spit into it. Wait 15 minutes and then observe the results. If your spit looks cloudy or stringy, there’s a good chance you have candida overgrowth.
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Eliminating Candida Overgrowth
Managing candida overgrowth is a multi-step process. First, you must eliminate the foods in your diet that are contributing to the overgrowth in the first place. Next, you need to help your body reduce the high levels of candida that are currently in your body. And finally, you have to increase your levels of healthy bacteria.
Step 1: Stop the problem from getting worse.
Your first priority should be eliminating the foods that are contributing to the candida overgrowth. This usually means refined carbohydrates, sugars and artificial sweeteners. Limit your intake of complex carbohydrates as well. You may also want to stay away from products containing gluten for a little while, as they have a high glycemic index and can cause damage to the lining of your intestines if they are not properly digested, enabling even more toxins to flow out into your bloodstream.
Step 2: Reduce the candida levels in your body.
There are a few ways you can go about this. Enzymedica Candidase and Candidase Extra Strength are special supplements with formulas specifically designed to help your body maintain normal Candida levels. There are also several foods that can help, including:
Garlic: Studies have shown that certain compounds in garlic can help your body to eliminate toxins and fungi, and it’s been used as a folk remedy for this purpose for millennia.1 It’s best to use fresh garlic, if you can. You can take it mixed in with foods or as part of a tea.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil contains caprylic, or octanoic, acid, which has been shown to be effective in helping your body to reduce its levels of Candida albicans.2
Apple cider vinegar: Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has also been shown to be beneficial against candida overgrowth. It works with your body to help kill off the yeast while promoting a healthy environment for good gut bacteria to flourish.3 Enzymedica Apple Cider Vinegar capsules are a great option.
Other foods that can help fight candida overgrowth are:
- Wild salmon
- Brussel sprouts
- Pau d’Arco (amarelo)
- Olive oil
Step 3: Increase your levels of healthy gut bacteria.
One of the best ways to increase your levels of healthy gut bacteria is to increase your intake of probiotics. There are many probiotic-rich foods available, including yogurt and kefir, but you can also take probiotics in supplement form.
If you’re looking for a probiotic supplement, try Enzymedica Pro-Bio. This contains eight strains of probiotics and 10 billion active cultures, and unlike most probiotics, it retains its potency at room temperature, so it does not need to be refrigerated.
We also recommend Enzymedica Digest Gold + Probiotics. This contains eight strains of probiotics totaling 1.5 billion active cultures, along with digestive enzymes to assist your body in breaking down the foods you consume and efficiently absorbing their nutrients.
1 Pai, S.T., Platt, M.W. (1995, Jan.) Antifungal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract against the Aspergillus species involved in otomycosis. Letters in Applied Microbiology. 20(1):14-18.
2 Huang, C.B., Alimova, Y., Myers, T.M., Ebersole, J.L. (2011, July). Short- and medium-chain fatty acids exhibit antimicrobial activity for oral microorganisms. Archives of Oral Biology. 56(7):650-654.
3 Mota, A.C., de Castro, R.D., de Araujo, O.J., de Oliveira, L.E. (2015, June). Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis. Journal of Prosthodontics. 24(4):296-302.